IN a move residents feel could accelerate resource exploration around Gloucester, coal company Gloucester Resources and gas company AGL have negotiated a land access agreement.
The agreement covers two coal seam gas exploration well sites on land owned by Gloucester Resources, near Gloucester township.
The sites are in AGL’s petroleum exploration licence area 285, which overlays the coal company’s exploration area.
Gloucester Resources’ exploration licence area surrounds the town on three sides and the company continues to buy up properties in the region.
The Gloucester Residents in Partnership group estimates Gloucester Resources has bought 18 properties and believes it has spent about $30 million on these acquisitions.
AGL’s website shows new wells are planned for Forbesdale, off the Bucketts Way, south of Gloucester.
“These pilot wells will be constructed on private land,” the website said.
Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance chairman Graeme Healy said the NSW government should “hold off” on new exploration, with a NSW inquiry into coal seam gas continuing and a recent decision by Santos to temporarily halt exploration at a gas site on the Liverpool Plains.
“When companies buy up properties the community’s bargaining position is reduced,” Mr Healy said.
Forbesdale resident Rod Besier said a relationship of the sort between AGL and Gloucester Resources could accelerate the rate of exploration in the area.
AGL is building new service roads at Forbesdale and, once complete, a convoy of heavy vehicles will travel up the Bucketts Way, under escort, to deliver equipment to the site, the company website says.
The convoy would travel between 1am and 6am to avoid disruption to local traffic, the company said.
AGL’s Gloucester Gas Project plans for an initial 110 wells in the Gloucester Basin and more than 300 at completion.